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Does Adha Exist

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  • March 8, 2013
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Analysis of: The Ritalin Sham: Does ADHD Even Exist?
John Breeding acquired “his doctorate in School Psychology from the University of Texas” and has practiced psychology for over 25 years (Counseling and Consultation para1). He is also a published author of four books. In his book “Wildest Colts Make the Best Horses,” appears an article titled; “The Ritalin Sham,” this was later altered and reprinted in Mothering Magazine in the year 2000(“Does ADHD Even” para 1). Breeding takes a very authoritative tone when articulating that ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) medications such as Ritalin are a form of institutionalized oppression. Breeding’s purpose is to convey the belief that the use of psychiatric drugs to cure “fictional illnesses” on children is a sham and is a form of “institutionalized child abuse” (“Does ADHD Even” para 16).

Breeding intentionally narrates an anecdote of a lady named Alice who makes a visit to his office for a counseling session. He includes this in his essay so the audience understands that he is a trusted psychologist. It allows him to establish a level of credibility. This appeals to the pathos of the readers, and it is a bandwagon fallacy; if Alice trusts Breeding so should the audience (Jones 4).

Nathan is the son of the aforementioned Alice. He was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 5, and prescribed Ritalin to “slow him down enough so that he could listen and process information.” Nathan was described by Breeding to exhibit “challenging temperament”, “intense frustration” and “aggressive tantrums” at times (Breeding para 1). Breeding uses these loaded words to such as “aggressive” and “intense” to describe Nathan and “ hurt” and “ angry” to describe Alice (Breeding para 1). This is a form of sentimental appeal as well as a loaded label. Breeding carefully chooses his words to manipulate the readers’ emotions and thoughts towards Alice and her son Nathan (Jones 6).

During paragraph 4, Breeding states, “a...